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Found 34 results

  1. I'm a bit unsure how to rate this as it's a strange stipulation and feels like two matches in one. 6 women start the match and it's elimination rules until we're down to 2, then it's a Texas Death Match where victory is by a pinfall and then your opponent being unable to get to their feet for a count of ten. The first 30 minutes is quite fun. We start with all 5 of her opponents all beating the hell out of Mayumi Ozaki as they know she's going to play some dirty tricks to win if they don't take her out quickly. Doesn't last though. Mayumi's stable constantly interfering gets annoying after a while and it's a relief when she's finally eliminated. But it's the final 20 minutes that are amazing. We're down to just Aja Kong and Kaho Kobayashi. I don't know much about Kaho but I'm going to seeking out more from her as from this performance she looks like one of the best sellers/bumpers in wrestling. Aja is so brutal with her, backdrop suplex after backdrop suplex with urakens, lariats and piledrivers that almost kill her, but Kaho just won't stay down for that 10 count so long as there's a bit of energy left in her. Both of them put in great performances here. This part of the match at least is certainly worth watching as a prelude to the great title match on the big 09/17/18 Oz Academy show. ****1/4
  2. A nice touch here as they added Mio Shirai as the ref for this match after Io announced that she was leaving Stardom. This is pretty much a standard three way although they did there best to minimize the typical drawbacks that this type of match. All three of them worked really stiff, especially Meiko, and busted out a few neat, different spots. At the same time though, they don't try to take the match to a level that it would be something special. Just solid performances all around. ***1/2
  3. After feuding for a few months, Best Friends have reunited again. This time they are taking on another reformed tag team, Seven Star Sisters (Ohata & Matsumoto.) This gets off till an intense start as 3S attack Best Friends just as they are finishing up their entrance. They manage to keep the intensity up for the entire match while keeping a steady pace. The double countout finish might be a letdown, but the match does a good enough job teasing losing control that it makes for a reasonable conclusion to the match. Still, this is one of the top joshi matches early on this year. ****1/2
  4. It's always fun when Meiko and/or Hiroyo show up on a Fortune Dream show and here they bring a couple of youngsters along for the ride. They work a quick pace while everyone gets to show off what they can do. The finish felt a bit rushed but considering the amount of time and placement on the card it's not that unexpected. Quite the rockin' little match here. ****
  5. I'm really enjoying how different joshi group are doing odes to early 90's AJW comm tape main-events. No one in particular has a stand out performance, what makes the match really work is just how well everybody works together with one another. Meiko and Chihiro continuing their feud was a highlight. This match also makes you wish that Stardom would get their head out of their butt and final book a Io/Hiroyo singles match. This is another match in the recent run of very good/great random main-eventer tag matches. ****
  6. OZ Academy Openweight Championship: Hiroyo Matsumoto © vs. Yoshiko Standard Hiroyo style main event with back and forth movez, but Yoshiko is an interesting enough opponent to make things feel fresh (for me, anyway). Hiroyo's trying everything to hold on to her belt, digging deeper within her moveset and going back to the drawing board a couple of times, but Yoshiko keeps returning fire. There's a strong sense of struggle; good selling too. ***1/2
  7. This was a fun tag main event for a B show. Hiroyo and Kuragaki make a good powerhouse team. Shida has some impressive power spots of her own along with her kendo stick for backup. I haven't been a fan of the changes that Yoshiko has made to her in-ring style, (being more of a fast paced, quick hit wrestler) but it worked well her in a tag setting. Good showing from everyone here. ***1/2
  8. OZ Academy Openweight Championship: Hiroyo Matsumoto © vs. Hikaru Shida This was an amazing payoff to almost 2 years worth of building. Shida targets the neck of Hiroyo in a plethora of ways, knee strikes, mount elbows, shinai strikes, an apron-hung neckbreaker -- her control segment was mesmerizing; rare that she fights so aggressively. Hiroyo's comebacks were strong, and the counters were dramatic. The finishing run was brutal, a proper finish to an epic. Incredible match! ****1/2
  9. Sendai Girls World Championship: Hiroyo Matsumoto © vs. Chihiro Hashimoto Chihiro is something else. She's like a sturdy wall of meat. This was definitely the weaker of the Chihiro matches from this year. It didn't have the sense of danger that her previous big matches did, and boiled down to an exchange of moves and the two using one another's finisher, and while all of this looked great, there wasn't much else going on here. ***1/4
  10. Artist of Stardom Championship: Team Jungle (Hiroyo Matsumoto, Jungle Kyona & Kaori Yoneyama) © vs. Queen's Quest (HZK, Io Shirai & Viper) A solid match for Io's return. I thought she looked great, and she did some new flippy stuff. Viper ends up crushing Kyona's face and causing a nosebleed, and I thought it added to the match visually. It's also nice to see HZK pick up the big win. ***
  11. Sendai Girls World Championship: Chihiro Hashimoto © vs. Hiroyo Matsumoto Hiroyo works over Chihiro's neck throughout, hitting a gruesome Gin and Tonic, and it leads to an amazing finishing stretch where the champion can't maintain the bridge of her German suplex due to the damage done to her neck. The selling was good; the pacing of the match feels smooth with an organic escalation, and Chihiro is just a sight to behold! This was an awesome clash of titans! ****1/2
  12. 15 minutes of all action that didn't feel like a blown off spot fest. This was a great representation of modern joshi and brought me back to some of the 2000 stuff I have been watching involving Hyaga. HIroyo is quietly piecing together a strong year and Arisa is one of the better young joshi workers IMO. This match had back and forth but the transitions were logical and the match conveyed a sense of being up for grabs at all times. ***3/4
  13. It's no coincidence that the amount of attention and praise that Hiroyo Matsumoto has received recently has coincided with the number of high profile opponents that she has had. Here, she takes on Ice Ribbon ace Fujimoto. While this was a pretty good match, it felt like they were previewing a more meaningful match in the future. Still, there was a lot of really good work here making it more than worth your time to watch. ***3/4
  14. This is for BY Ho's Goddesses of Stardom tag titles as they are challenged by rising star Kyona and veteran freelancer Matsumoto. Like both of her other two title matches from earlier this year, the match is built around making Jungle Kyona look like a major player in the promotion. Again, while there are times where her work isn't smooth and her inexperience shows, she still manages to look like she can hold her own. Hiroyo looked great here too. It shows you how she's a super underrated tag worker she is when she already has two great tag title matches this year with completely different women in both matches. The finish is well done as the match is held in Kyona's hometown so the crowd really gets behind her during the nearfalls and the eventual win. ****1/4
  15. OZ Academy Openweight Championship: Hiroyo Matsumoto © vs. Kagetsu I thought Kagetsu did a great job conveying her panic as move after move failed to get the job done. There's some real dramatic escalation here, and Hiroyo throws a little curve ball, hitting a wheelbarrow Crash Thunder Buster. I like how she has stepped up her game since winning the Openweight belt, finding new approaches to her offense. This was a solid filler before the inevitable defense against Shida. ***1/2
  16. Hiroyo Matsumoto vs. Meiko Satomura Breakneck sprint where they throw bombs all the way. ****
  17. Goddesses of Stardom Championship: Hiroyo Matsumoto & Jungle Kyona © vs. Queen's Quest (Io Shirai & HZK) HZK is a wild girl, and she was pushing Kyona to the edge with pesky kicks to the head. She's a pressure cooker; filled with heat. I thought Godzilla & Gorilla looked much better here than they did in Nagoya. Kyona's strikes looked good, even those weak corner splashes she does had actual impact; and I like the sumo palm thrusts, mostly because they are such an odd move of choice for a jungle lady. Io was very interesting here, showing off her athleticism with clever offense. QQ grab hands to escape stereo powerbombs, and then HZK bridges over to apply pressure to Io's pin while adding leverage to her own. HZK rules! Some fine tag team wrestling. ****
  18. This is a two out of three falls trios match that's designed to set up the OZ title match between Hiroyo and Kagetsu at the Korakuen show next month. I thought everyone in this match looked really good, even Katsu who has been a big disappointment since returning about a year ago. They kept the flow of the match going throughout more than likely because they didn't do the mandatory crowd brawling that happens in OZ Academy. Like the tag title match in January, this is another showcase of what OZ Academy should be. ****
  19. Match Link Decided to rewatch this after seeing their recent Sendai Girls match and wow does it ever hold up. First off, it's great two see these two in front of a bigger crowd (Korakuen looks full) than usual and getting great reactions which makes them come off a legit stars. They don't mess around and go right at each other at the start. Meiko especially is going full bore laying in some really nasty shots. Hiroyo fires back with her own shots plus hits some big suplexes when she gets the opportunity to really knock Meiko for a loop. The match is short, just under twelve minutes, but they barely waste a second the entire way. The best match of Hiroyo's career so far and one that should be mentioned as one of Meiko's best too. ****1/2
  20. Artist of Stardom Championship Tournament, Semi Final: Queen's Quest (Io Shirai, HZK & AZM) vs. Hiroyo Matsumoto, Jungle Kyona & Tora Natsuko AZM calls out Hiroyo! Holy shit! This was another really good Queen's Quest trio in a line of really good Queen's Quest trios. Jungle Friends were a very energetic team, and I thought Tora was fun. HZK's feud with Kyona is really starting to heat up, I can't wait for their Cinderella Tournament match. Io is the ace, but she kind of lays low in these matches and let's her teammates get the spotlight. It is generous of her. Tora gets squashed so hard under HZK's diving raiden drop that I think it may have caused her head to whiplash against the mat. Bomb's Away may be the most destructive finisher in modern joshi. ***3/4
  21. Nanae Takahashi & Arisa Nakajima vs. Hiroyo Matsumoto & Ryo Mizunami I have to agree with Dedy, this is the best Nanae has ever looked. Her segments with Hiroyo and Mizunami were spectacular, and some of the bumps she took were so hard they bounced her off of the canvas! Nakajima prays before delivering a double foot stomp, which is a cute reference to her misogi training. Everyone looked great in this match; Mizunami was hot-blooded as always, and Hiroyo busts out a Styles Clash powerbomb (!). This has that Zenjo-sprint pacing where they go non-stop and momentum shifts can happen in an instant. ****1/2
  22. In a promo before the match, Storm says that Hiroyo is a dream opponent for her. They don't try to do anything epic here, but they still go out an have a really fun match. The whole match is back and forth between the two of them, neither one of them is in control for too long. In fact, they must have lost track of the time because they don't really build to a finish as the time limit just ends which felt different if unintended. A very fun match. ***1/2
  23. Match Link - Match starts at 1:08:00 This is for Shida's & Syuri's OZ Academy tag titles. I was excited when this was first announced because Hiroyo and Kagetsu were a team in one of my favourite (and highly underrated) tags from last year, 4/2/16 vs. Thunder Rock. Then again, this is OZ Academy where potentially great matchups turn mediocre. Matsumoto looked great here. She is definitely all in for this chance to have a run on top of a promotion. This was also the best match from the Shida/Syuri team. They focused more on straight tag work rather than weapon shots and brawling. It's really nice to see a match that looks like what OZ Academy should be. ****
  24. This match has a real all-star type feel to it with Io being Stardom champ, Hiroyo being OZ Academy champ, and Ohata being the top contender for the WAVE title. This is also the first time in quite awhile that Io and Ohata have worked together. The two of them start this match and you can tell that they are both pretty excited to be working together again. Hiroyo looked really good here to as it can be easy to forget how good she can be until you see her in situations like this. AKINO was good too, showing a lot of energy rather than one of her phoned in performances. A super fun match between four women who you usually don't see in the ring together. ***1/2
  25. This is a tag match were the woman that gets the winning fall becomes the number one contender to Sonoko Kato's OZ singles title. With that stipulation, one would assume that this match would probably turn into a messy but that doesn't happen here. Actually, all four women incorporate the stip into the story of the match. There are some of the typical 'feuding partners' moments, but they don't overwhelm the action. Everyone here turns in a really good performance allowing the match to be much better than expected. ***3/4
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